On Saturday morning, an uneasy calm lay over the industrial area of Kanjur Marg (east), after residents spotted a leopard inside one of the private industrial units. The dogs of the locality cowered in fear, and following forest officials' orders, factory workers remained indoors.
An eyewitness told Sunday MiD DAY, "I was standing inside my office compound when suddenly, I saw a leopard sitting under a car parked in the compound. I immediately informed the officials, but as people began to gather, the big cat climbed the 10 feet wall of the compound and disappeared."
At 12.30 pm, a team comprising Forest Department officials, and Sanjay Gandhi National Park veterinarians arrived with tranquillisers. Led by Vinaya Jangle, the team conducted a search operation.
The team found pugmarks in a ground opposite N G Royal park building, but despite searching for four hours, the leopard could not be found.
"Leopards never attack humans, so if people spot a leopard, they should immediately contact us so that we can rescue the animal. If they try to provoke the animal, then it will attack in defence," Jangle said.
Assistant Conservator of Forests (Thane division) told Sunday MiD DAY that pugmarks were found on a terrace of one of the closed warehouses and scratches were seen on trees trunks in the area.
"This indicates that the leopard is still in the area," he said. The Crompton Greaves company premises have been searched and declared safe, however, forest officials will patrol the area to avoid any untoward incident.
Man vs wild: close encounters
A leopard attacked a forest guard at Prakash Nagar village near Salugara on the outskirts of Siliguri on July 19, 2011. Six people were mauled by the leopard after the feline strayed into the village area before it was caught by forest department officials. Forest officials made several attempt to tranquilise the full-grown leopard that was wandering through a part of the densely populated city when curious crowds startled the animal, a wildlife official said. AFP PHOTO/Diptendu DUTTA